Soft Elastomeric Capacitor Network for Strain Sensing Over Large Surfaces

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2013-12-01
Authors
Saleem, Husaam
Vasan, Bharath
Kessler, Michael
Rajan, Krishna
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Geiger, Randall
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Chen, Degang
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Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

The Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering seeks to apply knowledge of the laws, forces, and materials of nature to the construction, planning, design, and maintenance of public and private facilities. The Civil Engineering option focuses on transportation systems, bridges, roads, water systems and dams, pollution control, etc. The Construction Engineering option focuses on construction project engineering, design, management, etc.

History
The Department of Civil Engineering was founded in 1889. In 1987 it changed its name to the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering. In 2003 it changed its name to the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering.

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1889-present

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  • Department of Civil Engineering (1889-1987)
  • Department of Civil and Construction Engineering (1987-2003)
  • Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (2003–present)

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Abstract

Field applications of existing sensing solutions to structural health monitoring (SHM) of civil structures are limited. This is due to economical and/or technical challenges in deploying existing sensing solutions to monitor geometrically large systems. To realize the full potential of SHM solutions, it is imperative to develop scalable cost-effective sensing strategies. We present a novel sensor network specifically designed for strain sensing over large surfaces. The network consists of soft elastomeric capacitors (SECs) deployed in an array form. Each SEC acts as a surface strain gage transducing local strain into changes in capacitance. Results show that the sensor network can track strain history above levels of 25 με using an inexpensive off-the-shelf data acquisition system. Tests at large strains show that the sensor's sensitivity is almost linear over strain levels of 0-20%. We demonstrate that it is possible to reconstruct deflection shapes for a simply supported beam subjected to quasi-static loads, with accuracy comparable to resistive strain gages.

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This is an author's manuscript of an article from IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics 18 (2013): 1647–1654, doi.10.1109/TMECH.2013.2283365. Posted with permission.

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2013
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